From 2007 to 2010, Eugenio Velez was a jack-of-many-trades for the SF Giants. He made decent contact, legged out triples and stolen bases and played four different positions on the field.
Velez hasn't played in the Major Leagues since 2011, but toward the end of the 2010s, while keeping his baseball career alive in foreign and winter leagues, it appears he dabbled in another high-stakes profession: trafficking firearms.
On Thursday, MLB insider and broadcaster Mike Rodriguez reported that Velez had been "sentenced to 10 years in prison for firearms trafficking."
According to an English-language article from dominican.news, Velez and his brother, Algenis, were sentenced together after being accused of belonging to a criminal network that illegally handled firearms in their native Dominican Republic. Eugenio Velez was arrested in March 2020 when the vehicle he was in had illegal weapons, and authorities later found more at his residence.
Velez, now 40, entered professional baseball as an international free agent signed by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2001. He was 23 years old and just in Single-A in the Blue Jays' system when the Giants plucked him in the minor league portion of the 2005 Rule 5 Draft, and in his first season as a San Francisco farmhand he batted .315 with 20 triples, 14 home runs and 64 stolen bases for Single-A Augusta in 2006.
A successful 2007 at Double-A Connecticut and Triple-A Fresno in 2007 resulted in his first big-league callup, and in 14 September games he had three hits (two triples) in 11 at-bats and scored five runs.
In 2008 and 2009 Velez played more games in the Major Leagues than the minors for the only times in his career. In 599 plate appearances between those two seasons, the slender utility man hit .264 with 29 doubles, 12 triples and six home runs. He stole 26 bases, scored 72 runs and struck out just 95 times. Though his OPS+ across those years was just 80 (20% below league average), he had value for Giants teams that were building toward a dynasty by playing second base and all three outfield positions.
Velez was a member of the 2010 World Series champions
Velez got into just 29 games for the 2010 Giants, with a .164 average and two homers. He didn't make a postseason appearance as the franchise won their first World Series title since 1954. He played for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2011 and then bounced around the minors until dropping out of affiliated ball after 2015.